What's new with the American biology teacher?
Article Type: Editorial
Subject: Sciences education (Management)
Sciences education (Equipment and supplies)
Biology (Study and teaching)
Teaching (Equipment and supplies)
Teaching (Usage)
Author: Leonard, Bill
Pub Date: 08/01/2010
Publication: Name: The American Biology Teacher Publisher: National Association of Biology Teachers Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Biological sciences; Education Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 National Association of Biology Teachers ISSN: 0002-7685
Issue: Date: August, 2010 Source Volume: 72 Source Issue: 6
Topic: Event Code: 200 Management dynamics; 440 Facilities & equipment Computer Subject: Company business management
Product: Product Code: 8522100 Biology NAICS Code: 54171 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 245037777
Full Text: 1. New ABT Department: Classroom Materials Reviews

Classroom Materials Reviews (CMR) will publish reviews of new and innovative materials that will include but not be limited to biology curricula, modules, kits, and technology for collecting data in the lab and field that may be available from commercial vendors. This new department will not review visual media or books, as those are covered by other departments. There will be a distinct emphasis on materials that are cutting-edge and utilize learning through inquiry, as they will be expected to meet the spirit of the recommendations of the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards and the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Benchmarks for Science Literacy.

We received 14 applications for the editorship of this new department. A search committee consisting of President Bunny Jaskot, Associate Executive Director Jacki Reeves-Pepin, ABT Advisory Committee Chair Sherry Herron, and yours truly have selected Chris Mansour as the editor. Chris is an experienced, innovative, and energetic biology teacher at Tiffin High School in Tiffin, Ohio. He will solicit and receive requests from companies to have their materials classroom-tested and evaluated by biology teachers, recruit a set of teachers interested in doing the reviews, assign the reviews to appropriate teachers, and ask each to craft a one-page review that will be published in ABT. If you are interested in being a CMR reviewer, please contact Chris at chris_monsour@tiffin.k12.oh.us. See the first CMR on page 384 of this issue.

2. ABT Cover Images & Captions

Our beautiful cover images are now matched with an extended caption that has a biological description of the image (usually an interesting organism). The combination creates opportunities for a teachable moment. For example, with a class of 30 or so biology students, the teacher can let the students closely examine the cover image, ask them what they think of it, then read or have students read the caption. This could lead to extended discussion of the significance of the image. We are now attempting to match cover images with the content of ABT focus issues. Also, I am soliciting cover images from ABT authors who have articles in press in an attempt to match an image from their article and caption to their lead feature article in that issue. By the way, we are always looking for cover image material, particularly images that are both biologically significant and captivating. I think you will agree that the cover images of the last November/December issue (H1N1 virus) and of the February issue (skeletons of chimp and human) met those criteria. If you have an interest in photography and at least an 8-MP digital camera with a high-quality lens, I welcome your cover image submissions. Cover images need to be at a resolution of 300 dpi throughout the 8.5 x 11.125 inch cover space. Usually an 8-MP image is sufficient, such as the one I took of a mountain laurel for the September 2009 cover, but a 12- or 14-MP image is even better and allows for cropping if needed.

3. Sequence of ABT Articles

We will print feature articles first, as before. But the second category presented will now be Research on Learning, followed by Inquiry & Investigation, How-To-Do-It, and Quick Fix articles. This sequence is based on an implied priority or significance and the typical length of the articles.

4. Content Focus Issues

The concept of focus issues appears to be working and will be continued. We will publish several issues each year that gather articles on a specific biology-education topic, such as genetics, diversity, health and medicine, or learning through inquiry. Announcing these focus topics at least a year in advance gives authors time to think about, write, and submit manuscripts in time to allow for peer review, revision, and publication. The schedule for focus issues will be printed regularly in ABT. Each February issue will focus on some aspect of evolution, a topic that NABT members feel very strongly about. Some focus topics in the near future will be microbes, behavior, biology teaching methods, and agriculture. If you have suggestions for future focus topics, please let me know.

DOI: 10.1525/abt.2010.72.6.4

Bill Leonard

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